Psalms 124:1-8

Psalm 124

A song of ascents, by David.

124:1 “If the Lord had not been on our side” –

let Israel say this! –

124:2 if the Lord had not been on our side,

when men attacked us,

124:3 they would have swallowed us alive,

when their anger raged against us.

124:4 The water would have overpowered us;

the current would have overwhelmed us.

124:5 The raging water

would have overwhelmed us.

124:6 The Lord deserves praise,

for he did not hand us over as prey to their teeth.

124:7 We escaped with our lives, 10  like a bird from a hunter’s snare.

The snare broke, and we escaped.

124:8 Our deliverer is the Lord, 11 

the Creator 12  of heaven and earth.

sn Psalm 124. Israel acknowledges that the Lord delivered them from certain disaster.

sn The precise significance of this title, which appears in Pss 120-134, is unclear. Perhaps worshipers recited these psalms when they ascended the road to Jerusalem to celebrate annual religious festivals. For a discussion of their background see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 219-21.

tn Heb “rose up against us.”

tn Or “stream.”

tn Heb “would have passed over.”

tn Heb “our being.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).

tn Heb “then they would have passed over our being, the raging waters.”

tn Heb “blessed [be] the Lord.”

tn Heb “[the one] who.”

10 tn Heb “our life escaped.”

11 tn Heb “our help [is] in the name of the Lord.”

12 tn Or “Maker.”